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What did you do in your shop today?


Joshua States

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Francis is right. What you can also do is buy standard knife sharpening stones and cut pieces off them with a tile saw. Probably a bit cheaper that way, as Gesswein stones are pretty pricey (I have both!). Gesswein does a low grit progression, but most polishing stones are used to produce a high grit progression. Either way you get a very fine polish, but a progression of low grit stones tends to produce a faceted sort of effect, whereas high grit stones produce an effect that looks smooth. If you look on Jim Kelso's site, you'll see the faceted look, he uses Gesswein stones and a low grit progression. Most traditional Japanese tsuba and such used a high grit progression, which looks smoother. Both can be very nice, and both are a lot of work to pull off! There's no affordable way to get tiny little high grit stones, so you have to cut them off polishing stones yourself. Ford Hallam does the same thing with tagane (they do it a bit faster, but you have to make the tagane!). The most important though if you want it to look right is to not push too hard. Any metal will burnish if you push hard, and that ruins the open grain "japanese" look. 

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Thank you both @Francis Gastellu and @Carlos Lara!  I will definitely be looking into getting some stones to polish the surfaces, and I will take a lot more time(with a lot more patience) with the next piece!  I have loose plans to do a small Tsuba next so the advice will not be forgotten!

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Been working on the big one and still a way to go. Cru Forge V, Juma, wrought iron hardware at guard and pommel, will etch and blacken

 

Smaller one is Axis stag and Karelian birch, got to make the sheath.

 

My hand sanding tools are small and hard on the fingers holding sandpaper in place, so a piece of wood molding remnant for a remodeling in a clamshell contraption. (I know, I am so cheap!!)

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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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21 hours ago, Gary LT said:

a clamshell contraption. (I know, I am so cheap!!)

Don't knock it if it works!

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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I forged a couple things this morning

 

Starting pieces.jpg

 

Finished forgings.jpg

 

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Made some Iron Dumplings:

 

20240217_135429.jpg

 

This is an assay method invented by Lee Sauder in which you make a ball from furnace clay and fill it with powdered ore and charcoal. https://www.leesauder.com/smelting-research at the bottom of the page.

 

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The idea is you fire it to white hot and hold for 20 minutes, then let cool in the forge.  If done right, you get a bead of iron in slag if your ore is good.

 

If you don't keep it hot enough for long enough (two at a time was a bad idea, especially with shop guests about), and your clay cracks, you get a puddle of sintered iron.

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Nevertheless, it did prove the ore is good.  This test works best in a side-blown charcoal burning forge.

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Alan, now that’s cool….must have been fun!

Gary LT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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13 hours ago, Gary LT said:

cool

 

Fairly hot, actually. :lol: Holding a coal forge at full welding heat for half an hour, you really feel it!  It was enough fun that I'm gonna keep doing it until I get a nifty iron bead like Lee does.  B)

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Awesome success Alan. 

It's a stark contrast to the spectacular quench fail I had this morning.

 

Quench fail (1).jpg

 

Quench fail (2).jpg

 

Edited by Joshua States
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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Just got done making a matched set for a co-worker. He wants to give them to his boys on their first deer hunt this year. Was a completely humbling experience - I highly recommend everyone try it at least once.

 

Only controllable difference is I missed lining up the pattern by about 3/8 of an inch. Luckily the customer wasn't worried about that.

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Edited by Bill Schmalhofer
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On 2/16/2024 at 6:06 PM, Gary LT said:

My hand sanding tools are small and hard on the fingers holding sandpaper in place, so a piece of wood molding remnant for a remodeling in a clamshell contraption. (I know, I am so cheap!!)

Cool idea. Cheap is good!

 

If you don't mind a suggestion for possible improvement, think about putting a thin piece of aluminum, stainless, or G10 on one side so the sanding doesn't wear a groove in the wood. On the other side put a piece of hard rubber for those times you need something with a little give. Think I'm going to copy this...

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

And may I add, Yowza! :ph34r: W2 in water? 

1095 in Parks 50

 

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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That Nakiri didn't survive the quench either, so today I made another pair.

I like these much better anyway, so all's well that ends well.

 

Forged.jpg

 

Hardened.jpg

 

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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